In the Pro Football Focus review of the Bucs game, this is what they had to say:
No Big Diehl?
If you’ve read almost any of our Giants game analysis from last season, then you’re probably aware of the struggles of offensive lineman David Diehl. Announcers call him versatile because he can play guard or tackle, which really means that he can hurt the Giants at two positions. He compiled an abysmal -47.2 grade at left guard and left tackle in 2011, and has shown no signs of improvement at right tackle this season. He graded a -6.0 against the Cowboys and -1.8 in just 15 snaps on Sunday before he left with an injury. Sean Locklear (-0.6) struggled in pass protection in his stead and William Beatty (+0.2) had a couple of bad false start penalties, but even their average performances are an upgrade from Diehl’s standard. If Diehl has to miss any time with his injury, the Giants may be getting a blessing in disguise.
This is what they had to see in the review of the Panther game:
The Giants depth chart at offensive tackle has long puzzled us at Pro Football Focus. Well, with David Diehl absent through injury the Giants were last night forced to shuffle the pack. In his absence Sean Locklear (+1.3), and in particular William Beatty (+5.4) put forth the perfect example of why they should be the Giants' starting tackles for the rest of the season. Locklear had one extremely shaky play in pass protection that yielded a hit to Charles Johnson early in the first quarter and allowed a couple of stops in the run game, but at left tackle Beatty was nearly faultless in one of the best performances of his career. He allowed a couple of pressures in pass protection, but his run blocking was dominant. He had the key block on each of Andre Brown's 1-yard touchdown carries.
Although the media and many Giants fans are looking at how Andre Brown has ignited the running game with Ahmad Bradshaw on the shelf, I happen to think that the offensive line minus the weakest link is the biggest key to the team rediscovering how to run the ball.
That might be subjective, but what isn't is how to deal with Diehl when he comes back from his injury. The smart move is to allow him to gracefully slide into a reserve role for the remainder of the season and stick with what is working.
This isn't a case of someone losing their job due to injury (something which I am not necessarily against anyway); this is a situation where a player who has been statistically the worst lineman in the NFL for over a year has been replaced by players who, should they be merely average, will be an improvement.
Thanks for the long career, David. Please stay ready because you will probably be called upon down the road and maybe you can muster up better performances in a lesser role. But when starting lineups are made, he belongs on the bench for the future success of this team.